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11/19/2007

One sentence, a whole lotta nonsense

by Jeremy Hooper

In a new post on his "Washington Update" section of the Family Research Council's main site, FRC president Tony Perkins (or his ghost writer) begins with the following line in regards to the push in New Jersey to upgrade the short-sighted civil unions system to full marriage equality:

Proving once again that homosexuals won't be satisfied until they obliterate traditional marriage, two liberal New Jersey groups have launched television commercials demanding that their leaders upgrade the new civil union law to same-sex marriage.

And you know what? That should be all anyone needs to see in order to start a dialogue about just how childish and ridiculous our opposition's campaigns are in terms of LGBT equality. First off -- we gay activists didn't know the jury was still out in regards to marriage equality. We didn't realize our opposition was still looking for "proof." We've been quite unapologetic about our pushes for the fair and equal rights we deserve, and we've been quite quick to point out the inadequacies and offenses of a separate civil unions system. So just the first word itself, "proving," is already absurd.

But then looking a few words down the sentence -- "obliterate traditional marriage." Okay, can we for a second all agree that this is planet Earth and that we have brains? Yea? Okay, good. Then can we also agree that we understand that the word obliterate means to destroy? Yea, we can agree on that? Okay, fantastic. So can we just address how frickin' INSANE it is that the religious right still gets to make the claim that gays are trying to destroy so-called traditional marriage" by merely seeking to have their own unions?! This fear-mongering idea deserves about as much respect as saying we should all get burglar alarms because Santa Claus has discovered the joys of kleptomania. Because seriously, unless the heterosexuals the world over have such a tenuous connection with their heterosexuality that the mere thought of two dudes or chicas getting married is going to lead them all to skip town to Gayville, then there is not one ounce of reason to believe that the fitness of heterosexual marriage has even the slightest thing to do with same-sex unions! Yet respected "pro-family" groups still use this line, and STILL LARGELY GET AWAY WITH IT!!!! It's enraging to gay people, but it's also just plain embarrassing to brains across the globe!

And then looking at the rest of the sentence, they use words like "demanding" to make it sound as if the pesky, militant gays are seeking something to which they have no right. And while they're correct in that we are no longer asking but rather demanding respectful treatment from our government, they are wrong in there attempts to make it look as if we are overstepping our bounds when taking such principled stands. THEY are the ones who have overstepped the bounds of religious freedom to use their personal faith views against our equality. They have overstepped the bounds of humanity by stopping at nothing to make us look like wicked sinners hellbent on destroying society. And they have overstepped intellectual honesty by waging insipid campaigns in which they mask their discriminatory pushes behind the curtain of family and child protection. The have placed an unfair and untenable "demand" upon us: Be straight or suffer! So yes, we will demand a little better treatment. And we will demand that history recognize the gay-hurting rhetoric of the current wave of far right social conservatives for the truly mean-spirited transgression that it is.

Where There's a Bill, There's a Way (3rd Item) [FRC]

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Your thoughts

There are many GLBT Christians and many denominations of Christianity that do NOT consider the gender of a couple relevant to whether that relationship is moral or holy. The Episcopal church has been ordaining GLBT folk for over 30 years. The United Church of Christ does too, Metropolitan Community Churches are a GLBT denomination, and every maistream Protestant church has organizations within them devoted to the full inclusion of GLBT people. While the position of the current Pope is the most condemnatory position in history there are strong movements of organized Catholics, (straight and gay) in defiance of this position. We must do a better job suporting those who fight against the spiritual violence done to God's GLBT children.

All of this needs and deserves a whole lot more press and publicity - especially from the gay press. The fact of the matter is the voice of hate is NOT the only Christian voice. It's just the one that is being amplified the most.

Oscar Wilde said, "The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about." Ignoring the "christian right" won't make it go away. However, if we fail to push forward those Christians who don't believe that the tenets of Christianity condemn same-sex couples and families we allow fundamentalists to make the assertion that their position is THE Christian one.

Another important source of the voices of love and acceptance can be found amoung Christian Scholars of any and all denominations. John Boswell, Bart D. Ehrman, Theodore Jennings, Tom Horner, Richard Cleaver, John J. McNeill, Deirdre Good, Will Roscoe are just a few names that jump off my own bookshelf. These are theologians, Biblical historians, textual critics and scholars. Nothing is easier than finding an Ivy league theology Phd. who has published and lectured the fundamentalists into the ground on their whole take on religion including condemnation of same-sex intimate love. Education is directly proportional to the acceptance of GLBT folk as created by God as we are, and called good. Fundamentalists typically attend "Bible college" - nothing at all like seminary.

Argue against the evil by upholding the good. We can do this by pumping out a story of GLBT embracing Christianity for every story of hate we see.

Jim
Rochester, NY

Posted by: Jim | Nov 20, 2007 11:27:41 AM

Jim: We certainly highlight gay-affirming Christians as well. However, combating anti-gay rhetoric (whether religious-based or not) is primarily what we do here.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Nov 20, 2007 11:33:10 AM

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